In the creation of Captains Cocoa Company, I’ve learned a lot of new things spiritually and physically.  A great friend and mentor told me in late 2017, “You need a new assignment and task in ministry.”  I took the counsel and put it prayer asking the Creator to make known which assignment that would be.  Several months later, I’m starting to see it.

I’ve recently written several posts on my Crucified Life MIn. page about where I saw ministry going.   Those posts were about engaging the culture and impacting people. This is what I’ve been learning while working with the Cabecar Indigenous.

The methods that brought success in the past aren’t guaranteed to do the same today.  While our methods change, the mission shouldn’t.  This is what I would like to share about in this month’s piece.

Individuals and fellowships need a clear mission, otherwise you have no clue as to why you exist!  It is chaotic and disorganized when there is no mission.  So without a real mission, how will you ever find the correct method to fulfill it?

Let me simply define mission and method as how I view them.  Mission is why you do what you do.  Method is how you do what you do, or a type of approach that helps you fulfill your mission.

We have muddled method and mission.  I’ve personally seen how you can easily make your method of doing ministry into something holy, set apart, and in some cases untouchable. Especially when it works well and everyone else sees it and rewards you for it.

The temptation is to take that method and make a sacred cow out of it and not be willing to change it to keep up with the fast pace change happening all around us.  In other words, the method becomes so sacred that this takes precedent over the mission.  On the other hand, the mission is ‘holy’ because it is the reason why you or a fellowship exist.  When you aren’t willing to change your method, the mission eventually dies and you lose your ability to remain relevant.

It is very important to have a clear mission and stick to it.  At C.L.M. our mission is to impact and influence people in the area of recognizing, understanding, and achieving their calling in life.  Our mission isn’t working at an orphanage.  It isn’t working with the Cabecar Indigenous.  It isn’t working with the HRTWAM camp.  It isn’t going to various churches or fellowships and teaching.  It isn’t taking care of widows and orphans.  It isn’t doing social projects for the needy.  Even though C.L.M. is invested in all those areas mentioned previously, adapting to the fast change happening around you can make your head spin sometimes.  I understand that, but you can make the proper changes when you are committed to doing whatever it takes to impact and influence people in the area of recognizing, understanding, and achieving their calling in life.  It isn’t that our methods aren’t important.  C.L.M.’s methods, the orphanage work, the Cabecar Indigenous work, the HRTWAM teen camp work, the work with various churches and fellowships, the widows and orphans work, and work with the needy actually reinforce our mission.

Having a clear mission helps making changes to your methods a little easier.  When you know what you are called to do and see gain for the Kingdom up ahead, you will change your method in order to move forward the mission.  When a possibility comes along to reach even more people than you are reaching now, you will make the necessary changes to make  progress towards your mission.  Why?  Because you are committed to taking the necessary steps in order to fulfill your mission.  If you or your fellowship doesn’t have a written mission, I urge you to get one because it is very important.

Since I touched on method and mission, I would like to finish out by talking about being engaged.  Many times in ministry we look to numbers or attendance to gauge success.  I’m not one to focus on numbers because Messiah Y’shua changed the then known world with twelve regular people.  I’m not against big numbers but see something greater than just having and keeping a crowd.

A majority of ministers are focused on attracting and converting people to make their churches and fellowships grow instead of engaging folks.  Engagement is where it is at.  I’ve experienced this from working at the HRTWAM camp, my time directing Tiendas de los Hijos de Yosef here in Costa Rica, and the start up chocolate business.

I don’t think there would be as many dissatisfied people or people leaving fellowships if leaders were putting their effort into engaging folks in the mission of the fellowship.  In engagement, folks find purpose and have a sense of belonging to something that is making a difference.  This is why fellowships who engage their people in the mission of the fellowship are seeing spikes in attendance.  When you engage folks your mission will grow and expand and there will be more folks available to serve rather than the same 4 or 5 people who are always serving.

Having a crowd was never the goal.  Y’shua didn’t go into ministry to have a huge fellowship.  I haven’t read anywhere that he told the crowd to come attend His fellowship.  He said, “follow me.”  He went to where the people were at.  Because He engaged people, multitudes not only came to see Him but followed Him.  His engagement was so impactful and successful that after His death and resurrection, His followers picked up right where He left off.  Even the religious leaders accused His followers of filling their city with His doctrine.

Acts 5:28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
It takes engagement to fill your city with your doctrine.  Doctrine meaning your actions that come forth out of your faith in Y’shua the Messiah.  If you read Acts 2-5, you will find that thousands were coming to belief in Y’shua.  They didn’t sit on their hands in pews or on sofas in living rooms waiting, hoping, and praying for something to happen.  These believers took the initiative  to go out where the people were and engage  them. The fruit from this engagement equaled numbers.  Engagement equals numbers or attendance.  The more we are engaging to accomplish the mission the more it will encourage those around us to join.  When people begin to find their purpose and walk it out, it is contagious to those around them.  It’s inspiring and motivating.  It’s LIFE.  That is what Scripture is all about.  Going through life ministering LIFE to those around us.  That’s engagement.

Now we’ve come to the reality of the matter of engagement today.  I would love to hear your story of how you or your fellowship is engaging those around you.  Please write me to tell me;  I’m not joking.  I’m curious to see what methods you all are using.

I’m not suggesting that we try and re-create the book of Acts.  I’m suggesting that we find ways to impact our generation and culture for the Gospel just as much as they did in the First Century.  In the end, it’s about producing fruit for the Kingdom.  Folks are looking for an alternative.  An alternative to plain ole everyday life.  Most of these folks aren’t attracted to a church or a commandment keeping fellowship.  This makes it a great ‘mission field’ right in our backyard.  If you would like to engage these folks and grow your numbers, I’ll suggest my two cents worth.

Come up with a mission that adds value to people’s life.    Commit to doing whatever it takes to fulfill that mission.  Use methods that give people meaning and purpose.  You do that and your ministry will grow and be fruitful because you are making an impact in and on people.

Don’t engage people only to preach to them about your beliefs.  Engage people by involving them in the mission. Involvement creates passion and passion invites others to join in and do their part in the mission.  Blessings.

Please help us spread the word about the work!